The North Otago Toy Library faces potential closure, if more committee members do not come on board.
After two years as toy library president and five years on the committee, Paula Van den Hondel will be stepping down at next month’s annual meeting, and a new treasurer is also being sought.
‘‘Then we just need a couple of additional committee members, because we’ve got a couple of other ones stepping down as well,’’ Mrs Van den Hondel said.
The committee had six members, and there needed to be a minimum of eight people at the AGM to make quorum. Non-committee members were being urged to attend the meeting, to have a say in how the library was run.
‘‘At this stage just getting the committee to go is difficult.’’
Financially, the library was doing well. Funding had been secured to pay a librarian, on a fixed-term contract, for three hours a fortnight.
‘‘So that’s really exciting. We’ve got the money sitting in the bank waiting for somebody to take the role.’’
Ideally, the librarian would work Saturdays, because it suited most parents, but there was some flexibility with that, she said.
A grants co-ordinator had made a huge difference by helping the committee understand how and when to apply for grants, which meant they had been able to buy plenty of new toys.
‘‘But we are so desperate for volunteers, that they are all upstairs, and we haven’t got them down, because we just haven’t had time to do it.’’
Duty memberships to the library were available, which meant a low membership fee, in exchange for two duties a year, but getting people to do duties had been a ‘‘struggle’’.
‘‘It’s one of those things, where it’s kind of hard to ask people to do it, because of Covid, and stuff like that, so we’ve been a little bit lenient on it, but it is making it challenging.’’
The lack of help meant the library had dropped to fortnightly sessions on a Saturday morning and Tuesday evening. It used to be open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, Mrs Van den Hondel said.
Many hands made light work, and signing up to help was not a big commitment, she said.
‘‘If we’ve got someone who wants to do a treasurer role, it’s only an hour a week or a couple of hours a month.
‘‘We can’t do any sort of discounted memberships, but you tend to not have to pay for your toy hire, and you get the availability to get the toys first.’’
Doing a duty was easy, and parents could bring their children with them.
As a mother of two, and working almost full-time at Kiwibank, Mrs Van den Hondel did not have the capacity to continue in the president’s role, but getting involved was a great way to meet other parents — and committee meetings were fun, she said.
‘‘It’s a really great group of ladies. So a lot of the time, we just go out for dinner . . . sometimes we just do it here [at the library], and sometimes we do it online as well. We sort of adapt to what’s needed.
‘‘I’ve made some really good friends on the committee, friends that I’ll keep in touch with, which is really nice.’’
Anyone interested in getting involved with the North Otago Toy Library could send a message through the Facebook page, or email notl. email@example.com.